Jan 14, 2011
Stat Anomaly: 20 game loser Glen Hobbie
There is an irony inherent in this card. Glen Hobbie is presented as "Batter Baffler" after a year in which he went 16-20 with a 3.97 ERA (95 ERA+), leading the league in earned runs allowed. However, he was the ace of that Cubs staff, having been conferred the honors of starting Opening Day.
On the text on the back of the card, it mentions his 16 wins in both 1959 and 1960 (while neglecting the 20 losses aspect). In addition, it mentions carrying a no-hitter into the 7th inning of a game against the Cardinals before it was broken up by that notorious hitmaker, Stan Musial.
Let's find out about that game a little bit more. According to the game logs for Hobbie's 1960 season.....I was unable to find it. So, there's a mystery. I wonder which year this start mentioned on this card occurred?
The real question with the entrants in this series is did he deserve this fate of ignominy for a starting pitcher?
I would classify only four of his losses as hard-luck losses (pitching a greater than 7 innings and allowing three runs or less). Surprisingly, three of his losses came as a relief pitcher (including two games he entered before the 7th inning). There were 9 losses in which he started the game and did not make it through the 5th inning.
His 2nd half was much better than his 1st half (3.09 ERA vs. 4.93 ERA) and he had a 1.41 ERA in his 16 wins vs. 6.05 ERA in his 20 losses.
I would say, on the whole, Hobbie had a season (high volume of starts and innings) on a losing team (the Cubs finished in 7th place) with an uneven performance which led to his plight.